Micah Zenko

Politics, Power, and Preventive Action

Zenko covers the U.S. national security debate and offers insight on developments in international security and conflict prevention.

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How to Use Red Teams and Be a Red Teamer: A Conversation with Mark Mateski

by Micah Zenko
February 27, 2017



I sat down again with Mark Mateski, an expert in red teaming and one of the most insightful people I learned from while writing my book, Red Team: How to Succeed By Thinking Like the Enemy. In 1997, Mark founded Red Team Journal, a fantastic resource for red teamers and those seeking to learn more about the practice. Mark also gave a presentation at the 2014 Black Hat conference, The Devil Does Not Exist: The Role of Deception in Cyber, which I highly recommend watching.

Mark and I discuss what makes a good red teamer, the importance of an organization’s culture to successful red teaming (and therefore the organization’s success), and Mark’s next book, which contrasts Eastern and Western perceptions of deception and counter-deception. Mark shares his advice for aspiring red teamers, and things you can do right now to become one. We also discussed some of our favorite books, like Billion Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn From the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years by Paul B. Carroll (which appears on Red Team Journal’s expertly-curated 2017 Red Teamer’s Bookshelf), and Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Follow Mark’s Red Team Journal on Twitter @redteamjournal, and listen to my conversation with one of the most thoughtful red team professionals out there.


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